German born, Dirk Schönberger grew up with the company he now creatively directs. During his time at the sportswear company Schönberger has created ripples across the fashion industry by green-lighting collaborations with numerous designers, his development of the Adidas Original brand and his canny re-release of the classic Stan Smith, a much publicised favourite of Phoebe Philo and Marc Jacobs. He is now creative director at MCM.
Schönberger attended the now closed fashion school Esmod in Munich, and gained his first experience in the industry working for the designer Dirk Bikkembergs in Belgium, which he would leave to design an eponymous label in Antwerp for 10 years. Prior to his time at Adidas in 2010, Schönberger was the creative director of the Joop! Brand, spearheading plans to make the brand more contemporary.
Schönberger has overseen Adidas’ collaborations with Rick Owens, Opening Ceremony, Y-3 and celebrities such as football player Lionel Messi and singer Rita Ora. The high profitability of his strategic partnership saw the brand’s share prices rise from €40 to €200 by 2018, and sales boosts in the Chinese market.
In a sneaker industry coup Schönberger tapped Kayne West, after his five-year deal with Nike was slashed. The partnership bore the Adidas Yeezy in 2015, now a recognised hallmark of the sneaker industry with 7 models. Kanye West intended an instalment of Louis-Vuitton backed apparel to accompany the footwear in partnership with Adidas, but after ailing sales, Adidas reduced its involvement to footwear exclusively. By Yeezy season 6 in 2018 , Adidas jumped back on board, releasing adidas-branded apparel alongside Yeezy sneakers. Musician Pharrel Williams is also signed to the brand, collaborating on a collection produced by Adidas. Schönberger’s signings have ensured that Adidas can stand up to its sportswear rival Nike in the fashion-sneaker marketplace.
In 2018, Schoenberger left his post at Adidas for the position of global creative officer at the Münich-based MCM brand, reemphasising the brand’s German heritage. There, he oversees product design and brand experience across the brand’s global presence.